Stanford Rolls Into Championship Final

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With this being the last year that the HP Pavilion and the Bay Area will host the Pac-10 women's tournament, Stanford made sure that tomorrow's championship final would have a fitting match up. After convincingly beating UCLA, 78-45, it's the Battle of the Bay that will be the story as No. 1 seed Stanford and No. 2 seed Cal face off for the third time this season.

"I thought we came out with a great defensive mentality that started with Roz doing a great job for us in guarding either Campbell or Morris," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. "Kayla guarding Pluimer did an excellent job while other people did an excellent job. Our defense really set the tone for the game."

The defense that VanDerveer is speaking of is the effort that prevented UCLA from scoring for the first four minutes of the game, only allowed UCLA's offense to score a total of 16 points in the first half and forced UCLA to turn the ball over 13 times in the first half.

"Stanford is a very good basketball team and they showed that today as defensively they were very aggressive," said UCLA coach Kathy Olivier. "The first time we beat them we were the aggressors and today they attacked us. That was the difference in the game. They rebound very well when they are aggressive and have a lot of people step up so they have a lot of options. There's a reason why they are a top five team in the country."

With the game clearly out of reach for UCLA from the opening minutes, it was all the Bruins could do to not make the bleeding too bad. However Stanford had other plans in the way they focused on UCLA's individual strengths instead of weaknesses.

"We really focused a lot on taking away our opponents favorite moves," sadi VanDerveer. "Kayla worked really hard and I was really proud of the fact that when she was on Pluimer, she only got four points. Ros I thought did a great job on Morries, who had a great game last night against USC. Whether it was Candice guarding Campbell or Jayne guarding a variety of different post players. The best thing is that people did not get in foul trouble. They played smart, position defense and team defense. I think defense is a matter of will and they willed it that way."

If there is a will, there is a way, which is the best way to describe Wiggins' continuing to fire away despite not hitting her first basket of the game until 48 seconds left in the first half.

With Stanford dominating today's second game, it was no surprise to see four players scoring double figures (Appel led with 14, followed by Wiggins with 13, Hones with 12 and Pohlen came off the bench to score 10), everyone getting at least one rebound and everyone scoring at least one basket to make it a total team win.

UCLA on the other hand struggled for the entire game.

"Stanford is a very good basketball team and they showed that today," said UCLA coach Kathy Olivier. "They are very aggreesive and came out as more of the aggressors."

UCLA couldn't get much of anything going as they shot 26.7% from the field in the first half, 36.7% from the field in the second half and only hit 1-of-9 from three-point land and 6-17 from the free throw line.

The Bruins did not have any single player finish with double digits in scoring or rebounding.

That's it from the semifinal action today. Check back tomorrow for the championship final at 7:30 pm PT.

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